Douglas Brinkley's Wilderness Warrior celebrated Theodore Roosevelt's spirit of outdoor exploration and bold vision. Now Brinkley turns his attention to another indefatigable environmental leader--Theodore's distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt--chronicling his essential yet undersung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the premier protector of America's public lands. FDR built state park systems and scenic roadways from scratch. Through his leadership, pristine landscapes such as the Great Smokies, the Everglades, Joshua Tree, the Olympics, Big Bend, and the Channel Islands were forever saved. Brinkley traces FDR's love for the natural world back to his youth spent exploring the Hudson River Valley and birdwatching. Forestry would soon become a consuming passion. As America's president from 1933 to 1945, Roosevelt, a consummate political strategist, established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges and spearheaded the modern movement to protect endangered species. He deftly positioned his conservation goals as economic policy to combat the severe unemployment of the Great Depression. During its seven-year existence, the CCC put nearly three million young men to work on conservation projects--including planting trees, national park preservation, pollution control, and grasslands restoration. Rightful Heritage is an epic chronicle that is both an irresistible portrait of FDR's unrivaled passion and drive and an indispensable analysis that skillfully illuminates the tension between business and nature--exploiting our natural resources and conserving them. Within the narrative are capsule biographies of such environmental warriors as Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes, and Aldo Leopold.--Adapted from dust jacket.
I enjoy Brinkley's writing. He does tend to give a lot of facts, which sometimes is at odds with a directed narrative. I am OK with that, especially as the facts tend to be interesting, and his prose easy to read.